An interfaith leader from Fartown has returned from an international trip where she delivered inspirational speeches to encourage community cohesion.
Kiran Bali, global chair-woman of United Religions Initiative, recently visited India, Malaysia, New Zealand, Australia and Pakistan where she was involved in a number of projects with a variety of religious groups.
Part of her trip saw her work with schoolchildren in Rishikesh, India, to educate them on sanitation and ways to improve their hygiene.
This work builds on similar projects she has helped overseas, including the UNICEF Wash mission to save the lives of hundreds of young children in poorer parts of the world.
Her latest trip also saw her educating communities in India to encourage compassion for animals in Rishikesh, where she set up a cow shelter.
She also discussed community cohesion with the Mayor of Greater Dandenong, Melbourne, Jim Memeti.
But perhaps the most colourful chapter of her journey was the visit to Malaysia, where she was guest of honour at an event in Kuala Lumpur.
Kiran, 35, said: “In each of these countries, I worked to build bridges of global cooperation, energise and reinforce relationships through inspirational speeches, service projects and strategic meetings with local dignitaries. I supported regional religious partnerships to work together for the transformation of society.
“As an interfaith leader I am working to advance the positive impact and co-operation among faith, spiritual and indigenous traditions towards developing solutions to complex social problems, especially conflict.
“Religiously motivated conflicts around the world undermine the very principles of peace that our faith traditions teach.
“As people of faith we must focus on conflict transformation and engage in constructive change.”
Kiran was awarded an MBE in 2008 for her dedication to work in the community and holds many other roles including general secretary of the Hindu Society of Kirklees and Calderdale and becoming Huddersfield’s youngest ever Magistrate five years ago.